Modi, Rahul visits to intensify poll heat in Gujarat

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after paying tributes to former PM Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary, at Parliament House, Oct 31, 2017. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after paying tributes to former PM Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary, at Parliament House, Oct 31, 2017.
Photo – PTI

Campaign for the high-stakes Gujarat Assembly polls is set to get intense as political heavyweights — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to visit the state over the next four days.

While Modi will attend the silver jubilee function of the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on November 2, Rahul Gandhi will kick-off his party’s campaign in south Gujarat today.

Modi’s visit has been announced by the Bochasanwasi Shri Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).

BJP president Amit Shah, known as the master strategist of the saffron party, will hold meetings with BJP leaders of different districts between November 4 and 9.

Gujarat will go to polls for 182 seats in two phases on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up December 18.

Gandhi, who has been attacking the Modi government and the BJP over the “Gujarat development model” and the state of Indian economy, had visited a number of temples in the state last month, a move seen as a portrayal of ‘soft Hindutva’ in the BJP-ruled state, known as the laboratory of Hindutva.

Gandhi is scheduled to visit several villages and towns in tribal-dominated south Gujarat from November 1 to 3 as part of the Congress’s ‘Navsararjan Gujarat Yatra’. The yatra would commence from Jambusar in Bharuch district Wednesday and culminate in Surat on Friday.

During his tour, Gandhi would address farmers, women, youths, traders and the party workers at several places in Bharuch, Tapi, Dangs, Valsad, Navsari, Valsad and Surat district, the release said.

Gandhi had last month covered different parts of Saurashtra, and central Gujarat earlier this month.

Amit Shah would be camping in the state between November 4 and November 9. The BJP chief would join election-related deliberations with party leaders in different districts during his stay, the BJP said in a release.

Addressing the “Gujarat Gaurav Mahasammelan” near Gandhinagar earlier this month, Shah had said the upcoming election was a “battle of pride” for his party, which has been ruling Gujarat for over two decades.

He had exhorted BJP workers to ensure an improved tally of 150 seats over the 129 it had won in 2002 under the then chief minister Narendra Modi.

(With inputs from PTI)